Saturday, November 28, 2009

Where to Save and Where to Splurge

One of our favorite Utah wedding blogs is the Utah Bride Blog (amazing pictures and inspiration right here in Utah!). On 11.20.09 they posted this article that dissects the difference between what flowers cost and what you, the bride, is charged. I found it very insightful! With the current economy situation, many brides are asking "what does a wedding really cost?" And the brides planning here at The Canterbury Place are no different. More than ever we have brides asking for price quotes and breakdowns. We love giving brides more details and finding the perfect fit for their budget (seriously, we are more than happy to figure out something for you)! Lately, we have seen bride's trying to save money everywhere possible. After planning over 150 weddings and events here are my top tips on where to cut and where to spend:
Venue: Spend. Of course I am biased on this front, but by going with a beautiful venue you don't have to spend money on the basics like renting tables, chairs, linens, centerpieces, plates, silverware- believe me those add up quickly! Now more than ever reception centers will price match (us included!) so that you can get the value of not having to set-up or clean up after your event. The Canterbury Place is priced comparatively or below other venues. Do your homework with finding the site, find out what is included and what is extra so that you can compare places and find the perfect setting for you. More pictures of our beautiful facility here

Flowers: Spend within reason. Besides your wedding gown and groom your number one accessory will be your flowers. At The Canterbury Place our on-site florist will design the perfect arrangements that capture your colors and taste (as any good florist will). Our florist is always there to pin on flowers and will have everything set-up when you arrive. A few times we have seen bride's try to really save on their flowers by cutting out the pin-on service or delivery (don't do it!) with their own florists and we have seen mother's of the bride frantically pinning on corsages moments before the ceremony is to begin. There is definite value in not having to worry about those little details and spending a little bit more money to have beautiful arrangements.

Invitations: Save! Invitations are a guest's first peek into the flavor of your wedding, however you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to get a beautiful invitation. Go simple! Choose something that has standard postage and attach your own photo. See some great invitation examples here.
Photography: Spend. The number one thing that you will always have from your wedding is your photographs. These will become priceless to you and it is worth it to find a photographer who's style you love. See our preferred photographers here and here.
Guest Count: Cut, cut, cut! Be brutal with your guest count! The less guests you have the less food, flower centerpieces, and linens you have to rent/purchase. Invite the most important people and enjoy their company with a more intimate atmosphere.
Catering: This portion is centered around what menu you want your guests to eat (i.e. desserts- least expensive, finger foods- mid range, a full meal- most expensive). The menu option will dictate how much your spend. Lately, I have been seeing lots of brides have a full dinner for their close ceremony guests and then having desserts for their reception guests. Get creative! Work with your caterer to find an option that will fit your pocket book and the atmosphere you want your event to have.
Decor: Please save some of the budget for decor! This is how you really personalize your venue- linens and decorative elements is what will set your event apart and make your pictures extra special and unique.
Cake: I suggest going mid-range with this. The cake is one of the iconic elements of the wedding and it really is amazing what can be done decoratively with the cake. There are many less expensive options (note: round cakes are less expensive than square cakes. The more detail and the bigger the cake, the more expensive it gets). I would suggest hiring a professional to tackle this task- for stress and sanitary reasons. Work with your cake artist to design a signature cake for your event while staying on budget. Before meeting with a cake artist you can ask them what a simple three-tier round cake serving 100 guests would cost so that you can compare prices. For our cake artist's online portofolio's click here and here.

Of course, these are my opinions. Set your own priorities and spend on what will make the biggest difference to you! We know that many bride and grooms would love to spend their money many places but because of the economy can't. Hopefully these tips can help you know where to spend. Also, check out our post from a few months ago for more tips on staying in your budget!

All pictures in this post are from NaKeisha and Nathan's wedding on 09.25.08

Post by Ashley

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